Monkey squad sent in to secure Commonwealth Games
Security duties only - no building or cleaning work
Indian authorities have drafted in a crack troop of monkeys to guard foreign athletes amidst the ongoing carnage of the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
AFP reports that New Delhi council has drafted in ten langur monkey handlers fielding as many as 38 of the fearsome primates.
While the key image of the Games so far is of overflowing toilets in the athletes village and collapsing infrastructure at the stadia, the monkeys will sadly not be deployed to finish off foot bridges, repaint corridors or scrub khazis.
Rather their main task will be to take care of their smaller wild brethren, mainly from the VIP areas. Apparently the swimming facilities will be a key area for the monkey patrol.
The local monkeys are feared throughout Delhi, and even attacked the mayor in 2007, causing him to fall from his balcony to his death.
However, while the monkeys are clearly a threat it's cobras that have really put the willies up the athletes. The South African team has reportedly already found one king cobra in residence in their quarters, while another ten-footer was caught in the tennis complex.
According to the Independent, authorities have enlisted snake charmers to coax the reptiles out of the games areas.
Clearly this is job for a highly trained squad of mongooses, acting in classic Rikki-Tikki-Tavi style. So far there has been no official word on such a deployment - we can only assume that the Indian mongoose squad works under the same secrecy conditions as the SAS and Delta Force. ®